With summer right around the corner it’s time to contemplate room temperature for your red wines. As the mercury rises outside, the temp in your house and of your red wines can soar too. If you don’t want to squirrel your red wines away for the summer, and also don’t want to subject yourself to the evils of 70+ degree wine, you can either shell out big bucks for a wine fridge, which you probably don’t have room for anyway, or you can take advantage of the fridge you already have in your kitchen.
Now, mind you, I’m not saying to throw out your wine rack and store everything in the fridge. First off – where would your milk and juice go, and secondly, your reds would be too cold. The average fridge temp is between 32-40° F, which is a little brisk for red wines, but an hour or two in the old chill chest will bring the temp down into a reasonable range for reds. I find an inverse proportion between weight of a red and the temperature I prefer to drink it – a big weighty Cabernet or Bordeaux is best served a bit warmer that a lighter Pinot or Cru Beaujolais, which can take more of a chill.
The fridge is also the perfect spot to keep that unfinished bottle, should you ever find yourself with unfinished wines. Yes, even the reds. Storing open bottles in the fridge will slow the process of oxidation and keep your wines fresher longer. Just because you store it in the fridge, doesn’t mean that you have to drink it straight from the fridge. Pour yourself a glass of red from the fridge while you are cooking dinner, and by the time you are ready to eat it will have warmed up a tad, and be just the perfect temp. So, next 90° day, pop your Pinot in the fridge before you toss the burgers on the grill, and your lightly chilled wine will not only be delicious, but nice and refreshing too.